Italian American Veterans Museum honors those who served, offers resources

STONE PARK, Ill. -- The Italian American Veterans Museum honors the efforts and contributions of the Italian Americans who served the U.S.

"There needed to be a place where people could understand how significant the efforts of Italian Americans were in the defense of our country," Museum President and veteran Renato Bacci said.

The museum displays all kinds of war memorabilia, from weapons and equipment to medals and photographs.

"All of those are tied in to exhibits that tell their story," Bacci said.

One of the most prestigious displays at the museum is the Medal of Honor.

Bacci describes the significance of the exhibit by saying, "Ours highlights 26 Medal of Honor winners that were Italian Americans. And the real significant thing is that we were able to justify to the department of the army to give us, on loan, a Medal of Honor to display. We have a special, highly secured bulletproof case that it's in. That Medal of Honor I'm very proud of, but I'm also really proud of the stories in that case. It's so special."

The museum also serves as a resource center, and offers comfort and assistance to veterans and service men and women of all ethnicities.

"We look at ourselves as more than just showing the history of the Italian Americans, but also serving veterans, and we're very proud of that," Bacci said.

Due to COVID-19, the museum is only taking small group reservations.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit iavmuseum.org.